|Notes||The award ceremony was held on 25 November 1971.|
The shortlisted authors were:
V. S. Naipaul with the winning novel 'In a Free State', published by Deutsch,
Thomas Kilroy with 'The Big Chapel', published by Faber & Faber,
Doris Lessing with 'Briefing for a Descent into Hell', published by Cape,
Mordecai Richler with 'St Urbain's Horseman', published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson,
Derek Robinson, with 'Goshawk Squadron', published by Heinemann, and
Elizabeth Taylor with 'Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont', published by Chatto & Windus.
The Judges were John Gross (Chair), Saul Bellow, John Fowles, Lady Antonia Fraser, and Philip Toynbee.